The Ocean Conservation Administration (OCA) organized the 2nd annual "Taiwan Marine Citizen Science Datathon," with the final round of the event taking place today (Aug 20). The entry "How are Horseshoe Crabs Doing Today?" (你絕鱟了嗎？) winning the prize of NT$50,000. This year's datathon focuses on the visualization of data, presenting the complex data collected over the years in a simple and intuitive chart, and organizing the analyzed data and environmental issues into meaningful stories to convey to the public, so that more people can pay attention to marine environmental issues together.
The entry "How are Horseshoe Crabs Doing Today?" took the top spot in this year's datathon, featuring a work that utilizes creative harmonic banners and a retro style setting like a martial arts instruction manual, allowing the audience to understand the living fossil horseshoe crab out of curiosity. The "Sad Tidings of Sea Turtles” (海龜ê哀擱) is a story about the global decline of sea turtles and then leads the reader to the threats of fishing activities, garbage and the external environment, in a format that is well organized and easy to understand, earning the entry a runner-up spot in the competition. The entry "Horseshoe Crabs in the Palace" cleverly combines the homophone (in Chinese) of the horseshoe crab and the title of the famous period drama (Empresses in the Palace), completely presenting the geographical distribution of the horseshoe crab, habitat and future conservation actions, earning it the third place.
The OCA stated that the first datathon held last year received an enthusiastic response, this year, in addition to allowing open access to the contestants of more than 110,000 marine conservation data on the OCA i-ocean website, the OCA also invited 12 civic organizations to jointly provide citizen data scientists with data, to achieve the seamless cooperation between the government and the private sector for open data use and creation.
In the past, civic organizations have been accumulating relevant data for a long time, but due to manpower and resource constraints, it is not easy to further analyze the data and it is also difficult to translate it into scientific knowledge for the general public to understand. Therefore, two workshops were planned for this event, in which data engineers reviewed the existing data of NGOs and provided analysis and suggestions to address their pain points. In addition, an infographics workshop was arranged for the participants to understand how to finetune the data and to guide the audience to understand the ocean through visual optimization and then to facilitate the love and care for the ocean.
The six teams that entered the final round of the competition included many talented people with backgrounds in marine science, visual design, and data analysis, as well as partners who care about marine issues. Through the visualization of information, it is hoped that the teams will be able to combine civic organizations, data analysis experts, scholars and design talents to transform the long-accumulated ocean-related survey data into specific and easy-to-understand infographics, and to convey the story of changes to the ocean environment parsed from the data. It is also hoped that through this event, more people will join the ranks of citizen scientists and contribute to marine conservation in the future.
Responsible authority and spokesperson: Wu Long-Jing, OCA Deputy Director-General
Contact number: 07-3383203 or 0919-613-467
Issue Date: Aug 20, 2022